Ignatius of Loyola

This is a digitally enhanced experience of The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola intended for spiritual directors, practitioners, extenders, and promoters of Ignatian spirituality. If you are new to The Spiritual Exercisesclick here. This resource is designed to support those who lead others in the Exercises, whether as a day retreat, a 19th annotation retreat, or some other variation. Puhl, SJ translation, with more translations to be added latercommentaries and notes, plus videos, images, PowerPoint presentations, and multi-media prayer experiences that you can use to enhance the experience of the Exercises for yourself or those you are directing.

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St. Ignatius of Loyola

Please review our Privacy Policy. Welcome This is a digitally enhanced experience of The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola intended for spiritual directors, practitioners, extenders, and promoters of Ignatian spirituality. Puhl Translation Other Translations to be added later. A place to share ideas, comments, and conversation. Books, websites, and other resources on the Spiritual Exercises.But in Ignatius was gravely wounded in a battle with the French.

While recuperating, Ignatius Loyola experienced a conversion. Reading the lives of Jesus and the saints made Ignatius happy and aroused desires to do great things.

Over the years, Ignatius became expert in the art of spiritual direction. He collected his insights, prayers, and suggestions in his book the Spiritual Exercisesone of the most influential books on the spiritual life ever written. David L. Who Was St. Features a commentary by Richard Leonard, SJ.

Life of Ignatius Loyola An outline of the life of Ignatius, organized around important dates in his life. A rough translation from German. Ignatius of Loyola Video Video introduction to St.

Ignatius Loyola, produced by the Apostleship of Prayer for his feast day. Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Imitator of Christ, Discusses the early years of the Society of Jesus and its contribution to world missions and the Council of Trent. Gives important highlights of the Constitutions.

Book available online in several formats. Here are 50 of them. What Students Can Learn from St. Ignatius shared his interior readiness and openness to God every day and more specifically at those stages of his journey in which he let go of his personal desires to follow the direction in which God was leading him.

As a spiritual companion he helped others to recognize how God was leading them in a similar way. James Janda.Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish priest and theologian who founded the Jesuit order in and was one of the most influential figures in the Counter-Reformation. Known for its missionary, educational, and charitable works, the Jesuit order was a leading force in the modernizing of the Roman Catholic Church. He became a page in the service of a powerful relative in and then a knight in His military career was abruptly ended in when he was hit in the legs with a cannonball.

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After his spiritual awakening, St. Ignatius of Loyola chose to pursue a formal education despite being in his thirties. Over the course of 11 years, he studied Latin, philosophy, theology, and other subjects at various universities in Spain and Paris, earning an M. He was ordained as a priest in While defending the citadel of Pamplona against the French, Ignatius was hit by a cannonball on May 20,sustaining a bad fracture of his right leg and damage to his left.

Although his morals were far from stainless, Ignatius was in his early years a proud rather than sensual man. He stood just under five feet two inches in height and had in his youth an abundance of hair of a reddish tint. He delighted in music, especially sacred hymns. After treatment at Pamplona, he was transported to Loyola in June There his condition became so serious that for a time it was thought he would die. When out of danger, he chose to undergo painful surgery to correct blunders made when the bone was first set.

The result was a convalescence of many weeks, during which he read a life of Christ and a book on the lives of the saintsthe only reading matter the castle afforded. He also passed time in recalling tales of martial valour and in thinking of a great lady whom he admired. In the early stages of this enforced reading, his attention was centred on the saints.

The version of the lives of the saints he was reading contained prologues to the various lives by a Cistercian monk who conceived the service of God as a holy chivalry. This view of life profoundly moved and attracted Ignatius. After much reflection, he resolved to imitate the holy austerities of the saints in order to do penance for his sins. In February Ignatius bade farewell to his family and went to Montserrata place of pilgrimage in northeastern Spain. He spent three days in confessing the sins of his whole life, hung his sword and dagger near the statue of the Virgin Mary as symbols of his abandoned ambitions, and, clothed in sackcloth, spent the night of March 24 in prayer.

The next day he went to Manresaa town 48 km 30 miles from Barcelona, to pass the decisive months of his career, from March 25,to mid-February He lived as a beggar, ate and drank sparingly, scourged himself, and for a time neither combed nor trimmed his hair and did not cut his nails. Daily he attended mass and spent seven hours in prayer, often in a cave outside Manresa.

The sojourn at Manresa was marked by spiritual trials as well as by joy and interior light. At Manresa he sketched the fundamentals of his little book The Spiritual Exercises.Click for more information. He was the youngest of thirteen children.

At the age of sixteen years he was sent to serve as a page to Juan Velazquez, the treasurer of the kingdom of Castile. As a member of the Velazquez household, he was frequently at court and developed a taste for all it presented, especially the ladies.

He was much addicted to gambling, very contentious, and not above engaging in swordplay on occasion. For a number of years he went about in the dress of a fighting man, wearing a coat of mail and breastplate, and carrying a sword and other sorts of arms.

Eventually he found himself at the age of 30 in May of as an officer defending the fortress of the town of Pamplona against the French, who claimed the territory as their own against Spain. The Spaniards were terribly outnumbered and the commander of the Spanish forces wanted to surrender, but Ignatius convinced him to fight on for the honor of Spain, if not for victory.

During the battle a cannon ball struck Ignatius, wounding one leg and breaking the other. Because they admired his courage, the French soldiers carried him back to recuperate at his home, the castle of Loyola, rather than to prison.

His leg was set but did not heal, so it was necessary to break it again and reset it, all without anesthesia.

Ignatius of Loyola

Although he was told to prepare for death, on the fest of Saints Peter and Paul June 29 he took an unexpected turn for the better. The leg healed, but he was left with one leg shorter than the other. For the rest of his life he walked with a limp.

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During the long weeks of his recuperation, he was extremely bored and asked for some romance novels to pass the time. Luckily there were none in the castle of Loyola, but there was a copy of the life of Christ and a book on the saints. Desperate, Ignatius began to read them. The more he read, the more he considered the exploits of the saints worth imitating. However, at the same time, he continued to have daydreams of fame and glory, along with fantasies of winning the love of a certain noble lady of the court.

The identity of this lady has never been discovered but she seems to have been of royal blood.

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He noticed, however, that after reading and thinking of the saints and Christ he was at peace and satisfied. Yet when he finished his long daydreams of his noble lady, he would feel restless and unsatisfied. Not only was this experience the beginning of his conversion, it was also the beginning of spiritual discernment, or discernment of spirits, which is associated with Ignatius and described in his Spiritual Exercises.

Ignatius of Loyola

The Exercises recognize that not only the intellect but also the emotions and feelings can help us to come to a knowledge of the action of the Spirit in our lives. Eventually, completely converted from his old desires and plans of romance and worldly conquests, and recovered from his wounds enough to travel, he left the castle in March of He had decided that he wanted to go to Jerusalem to live where our Lord had spent his life on earth. As a first step he began his journey to Barcelona.

He first proceeded to the Benedictine shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, made a general confession, and knelt all night in vigil before Our Lady's altar, following the rites of chivalry. He left his sword and knife at the altar, went out and gave away all his fine clothes to a poor man, and dressed himself in rough clothes with sandals and a staff.

Ignatius of Loyola

He continued towards Barcelona but stopped along the river Cardoner at a town called Manresa. He stayed in a cave outside the town, intending to linger only a few days, but he remained for ten months.

He spent hours each day in prayer and also worked in a hospice. It was while here that the ideas for what are now known as the Spiritual Exercises began to take shape. It was also on the banks of this river that he had a vision which is regarded as the most significant in his life.In fact, whatever Ignatius touched seemed to be set apart as something special: the order he founded, the Society of Jesus, became one of the most influential of Catholic orders.

He embraced court life with enthusiasm, learning weapons, gambling, and courtly love—he was "a man given to the vanities of the world," he later wrote in his autobiography, "whose chief delight consisted in martial exercises, with a great and vain desire to win renown. In a battle with the French for the town of Pamplona, Spain, he was hit by a cannon ball the size of a fist. He underwent surgeries to reset his right knee and remove a protruding bone.

For seven weeks he lay in bed recuperating. During this time, he began reading spiritual books and accounts of the exploits of Dominic and Francis. During his convalescence he received spiritual visions, so that by the time he recuperated, he had resolved to live a life of austerity to do penance for his sins.

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He spent three days confessing his life sins, then hung his sword and dagger near the statue of the Virgin Mary to symbolize his break with his old life. He donned sack cloth and walked to Manresa, a town 30 miles from Barcelona, to pass the decisive months of his career from March to mid-February He lived as a beggar, ate and drank sparingly, scourged himself, and for a time neither trimmed his tangled hair nor cut his nails.

He attended Mass daily and spent seven hours a day in prayer, often in a cave outside Manresa. While sitting one day by the Cardoner River, "the eyes of his understanding began to open," he later wrote, referring to himself in the third person, "and, without seeing any vision, he understood and knew many things, as well spiritual things as things of the faith.

After a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he headed back to Europe: "After the pilgrim he learned that it was God's will that he should not stay in Jerusalem," he wrote, "he pondered in his heart what he should do and finally decided to study for a time in order to be able to help souls. He chose to defer priesthood, which would have taken but a few years of study, for a more intense and lasting 12 years of education. He was found innocent, left for Salamanca, where he was imprisoned and acquitted again.

With this, he and his companions left Spain for study at Paris. During his long stay in the French capital, where he changed his name to Ignatius, he won the coveted master of arts degree, gathered more companions among them Francis Xavier, who became one of the order's greatest missionaries. In he and his little band bound themselves by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience—though they had not yet decided to found a religious order.

Then they made their way to Venice, and there, inIgnatius and most of his companions were ordained. For the next 18 months they ministered and prayed together. One companion later remembered about Ignatius, "When he did not weep three times during Mass, he considered himself deprived of consolation. During this time Ignatius had one of his most decisive visions.

While in prayer one day, he saw Christ with a cross on his shoulder, and beside him was God the Father, who said, "I wish you to take this man [meaning Ignatius] for your servant.

Ignatius was also told that his group was to be called "the company of Jesus," that they were to be like a company of fur traders yet focused on doing God's will.

In the small band gained the pope's approval and was named the Society of Jesus: they determined a method of decision making, vowed to obey the pope as the voice of Christ, and elected Ignatius as superior general.

Thus began 15 years of administrative life in Rome for Ignatius. The vision and disciplines of the "Jesuits," as they came to be called, caught the imagination of Europe. They opened hospices for the dying, sought financial support for the poor, founded orphanages, and opened schools.

The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus was probably the most important work of Ignatius's later years. His followers abandoned some traditional forms of religious life such as chanting the divine office, physical punishments, and penitential garbin favor of greater adaptability and mobility. The Society was above all to be an order of apostles "ready to live in any part of the world where there was hope of God's greater glory and the good of souls.

His greatest legacy is his Spiritual Exerciseswhich has been in constant use for years. The Exercises lead a person through four "weeks" a flexible term of meditations and prayers, guided by a spiritual director, generally during a retreat though there are provisions for non-retreat direction.

Purifying one's soul is the object of the first week; greater knowledge and the love of Christ, the second; freeing the will to follow Christ, the third; and releasing the heart from worldly attachments, the fourth. The perfection of the soul, the imitation of Christ, and the soul's attachment to God are goals for the exercises that reflect the holy ambitions of Ignatius from his conversion.

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Ignatius was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in In he was declared patron of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.Its members are bound by a special fourth vow of obedience to the sovereign pontiff to be ready to fulfil special papal missions.

Ignatius was noted as an inspired spiritual director.

St. Ignatius Loyola

He recorded his method in a celebrated treatise called the Spiritual Exercisesa simple set of meditationsprayers, and other mental exercisesfirst published in It is known as " Ignatian spirituality ". Ignatius was beatified inand canonizedreceiving the title of Saint on 12 March His feast day is celebrated on 31 July.

He is the patron saint of the Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Biscay as well as of the Society of Jesus. He was declared patron saint of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in Ignatius is also the foremost patron saint of soldiers. He was the youngest of thirteen children. His diplomacy and leadership qualities earned him the title "servant of the court", and made him very useful to the Duke. However at the Battle of Pamplona on 20 May he was gravely injured when a French-Navarrese expedition force stormed the fortress of Pamplona, and a cannonball ricocheting off a nearby wall, shattered his right leg.

In the end, the operations left his right leg shorter than the other. He would limp for the rest of his life, with his military career over.

His beloved sister-in-law, Magdalena de Araoz, in her wisdom chose to bring him texts to read which she knew would help him encounter the living God, while he was recuperating.

It also inspired his method of meditation, since Ludolph proposes that the reader place himself mentally at the scene of the Gospel story, visualising the crib at the Nativity, etc. This type of meditation, known as Simple Contemplation, was the basis for the method that St. Ignatius would promote in his Spiritual Exercises. Cautiously he came to realize the after-effect of both kinds of his dreams. He experienced a desolation and dissatisfaction when the romantic heroism dream was over, but, the saintly dream ended with much joy and peace.

It was the first time he learned about discernment. There, he carefully examined his past sinsconfessedgave his fine clothes to the poor he met, wore a "garment of sack-cloth", then hung his sword and dagger at the Virgin 's altar during an overnight vigil at the shrine. From Montserrat he walked on to the nearby town of Manresa Cataloniawhere he lived for about a year, begging for his keep, and then eventually doing chores at a local hospital in exchange for food and lodging.

For several months he spent much of his time praying in a cave nearby [25] where he practiced rigorous asceticismpraying for seven hours a day, and formulating the fundamentals of his Spiritual Exercises. These repetitive visions appeared as "a form in the air near him and this form gave him much consolation because it was exceedingly beautiful He received much delight and consolation from gazing upon this object He remained there from 3 to 23 September but was sent back to Europe by the Franciscans.

He returned to Barcelona and at the age of thirty-three attended a free public grammar school in preparation for university entrance.

There he encountered a number of devout women who had been called before the Inquisition. These women were considered alumbrados Illuminati — a group linked in their zeal and spirituality to Franciscan reforms, but they had incurred mounting suspicion from the administrators of the Inquisition.

As a result, he was singled out for interrogation by the Inquisition, but was later released. He arrived in France at a time of anti-Protestant turmoil which had forced John Calvin to flee France.

Ignatius of Loyola

Very soon after, Ignatius had gathered around him six companions, all of them fellow students at the University.

Ignatius gained a Magisterium from the University of Paris at the age of forty-three in In later life he would often be called "Master Ignatius" because of this.

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He was chosen as the first Superior General of the order and invested with the title of "Father General" by the Jesuits.The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola Latin original: Exercitia spiritualiacomposed —, are a set of Christian meditationscontemplationsand prayers written by Ignatius of Loyolaa 16th-century Spanish priesttheologianand founder of the Society of Jesus Jesuits. Divided into four thematic "weeks" of variable length, they are designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days.

A review of the publication history of the Spiritual Exercises may be found on the website of Loyola Press. Many subsequent editions in Latin and in various other languages were printed early on with widely differing texts. Archival work on the authentic text of the Spiritual Exercises was undertaken at the initiative of the 19th century Jesuit Superior General Jan Roothaanwho himself published a translation and notes from the original manuscripts of St.

The culmination of this work was a "critical edition" of the Exercises published by the Jesuit order inin the Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu series. This was edited by the editor of the critical edition, and included convenient marginal numbers for every section, which can be found in all contemporary editions and inline in this article.

An English translation by Louis J. Puhl, S. Puhl translated directly from studies based on the original manuscripts. After recovering from a leg wound incurred during the Siege of Pamplona inIgnatius made a retreat with the Benedictine monks at their abbey high on Montserrat in Catalonianorthern Spainwhere he hung up his sword before the statue of the Virgin of Montserrat. The monks introduced him to the spiritual exercises of Garcia de Cisneros, which were based in large part on the teachings of the Brothers of the Common Lifethe promoters of the " devotio moderna ".

From Montserrat, he left for Barcelona but took a detour through the town of Manresawhere he eventually remained for several months, continuing his convalescence at a local hospital.

During this time Ignatius experienced a series of visions, and formulated the fundamentals of his Spiritual Exercises.

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He would later refine and complete the Exercises when he was a student in Paris. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius form the cornerstone of Ignatian Spirituality : a way of understanding and living one's relationship with God in the world as practiced by members of the Society of Jesus Jesuits. Although he originally designed them to take place in the setting of a secluded retreatduring which those undergoing the exercises would be focused on nothing other than the ExercisesIgnatius also provided a model in his introductory notes for completing the Exercises over a longer period without the need of seclusion.

He saw them as an instrument for bringing about a conversion or change of heart, in the Reformation times in which he lived. After the Society of Jesus was formed, the Exercises became the central component of its training program. They usually take place during the first year of a two-year novitiate and during a final year of spiritual studies after ordination to the priesthood. The Exercises have also impacted the founders of other religious orders, even becoming central to their work.

Ignatius considered the examenor spiritual self-review, to be the most important way to continue to live out the experience of the Exercises after their completion. Ignatius identified the various motives that lead a person to choose one course of action over another as "spirits". A good "spirit" can bring love, joy, peace, but also desolation, to bring one to re-examine one's life.

An evil spirit usually brings confusion and doubt, but may also prompt contentment to discourage change. The human soul is continually drawn in two directions: towards goodness but at the same time towards sinfulness. According to the theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar"choice" is the center of the Exercisesand they are directed to choosing God's choice, i.


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